This nod to the Old-World Italian tradition circus stars Nino the clown, his son Julien and is propelled by a central story that feature acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, clowning and plenty of audience participation.
This year features a double trapeze act called the Daring Jones Duo who take disciplined artistic and athletic risks, and A Unicycle Built for Two, a blend of unicycles, acrobatics, and light-hearted romance.
The Zoppè Family Circus emerged more than 160 years ago to become one of the legendary circuses in all of Europe. In 1842, a young French street performer named Napoline Zoppè wandered into a plaza in Budapest, Hungary, looking for work. There, his eyes glanced upon a beautiful equestrian ballerina named Ermenegilda, who captured the hearts and minds of the crowd with her grace and showmanship as well as Napoline's heart.
Because Napoline was a clown, Ermenegilda's father saw him as beneath her and disapproved of their relationship. The two ran away to Venice, Italy, and founded the circus that still bears their name. Alberto Zoppè, Napoline's great-grandson, inherited the circus almost 100 years later.
Alberto's children, Giovanni, Tosca and Carla, along with their spouses, have all been active at one time or another in the family business. Giovanni revived the Zoppè Family Circus in America three years ago, and has since been building its reputation with audiences and critics as an enchanting exhibition of traditional European circus.
The Zoppe Circus uses only dogs and horses that are the personal pets of their owners. As family-owned pets, the animals are raised, transported and housed with expert, loving care. Some of the dogs in the show have been rescued from animal shelters by the Zoppe family.
Show times are
10/11: 4pm and 7pm
10/12: 12pm, 3pm and 7pm
10/13: 12pm, 3pm & 6pm
10/18: 4pm and 7pm
10/19: 12pm, 3pm & 7pm
10/20: 12pm, 3pm & 6pm
Tickets are $10 to $25. For more information call 650.780.7586 visit www.redwoodcity.org/events/zoppe.html.